films seen
average score
Japan - 53 years old
Alive and kicking
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One of the few big budget genre directors in Japan. Sato has proven himself very capable of delivering films that rely on hefty budgets, without losing a personal (weird) touch. His oeuvre's ideal when you're looking for solid entertainment.


Oblivion Island

Hottarake no Shima - Haruka to Maho no Kagami
2009 / 93m - Japan
Fantasy - Animation
Oblivion Island poster

A core fantasy film that betrays Production I.G's struggles with full-CG animation, but makes up for that with excellent art direction and bucketloads of creativity.


2018 / 127m - Japan
Drama, Sci-fi, Thriller
Inuyashiki poster

Sato worked himself up to become one of the better commercial directors of Japan. His films are rarely masterpiece material, but if you're looking for some fun, well-made blockbuster nonsense he's your man. Inuyashiki is pretty rad, entertaining and properly executed, everything a good blockbuster should be.

I Am a Hero

I Am a Hero
2015 / 126m - Japan
Action, Horror
I Am a Hero poster


2011 / 130m - Japan
Sci-fi, Action, Horror
Gantz poster

Gantz 2: Perfect Answer

2011 / 141m - Japan
Sci-fi, Action, Horror
Gantz 2: Perfect Answer poster

Sand Clock

2008 / 121m - Japan
Drama, Romance
Sand Clock poster

A fine romantic drama. The first half is really sweet and endearing, only to turn more dark and brooding during the second part. Rural Japan is the perfect setting for this story, the actors do a decent job and Sato's direction is on point. Not quite subtle enough to be a real masterpiece, but pleasant and solid filler nonetheless.


2019 / 134m - Japan
Action, War
Kingdom poster

Sato has worked himself up as one of the leading blockbuster directors of Japan. Kingdom underlines that reputation. A fun and well-made film that features a couple of impressive action scenes, but is held back by a lackluster middle part and the lack of something definite that could set it apart from its peers.


2018 / 108m - Japan
Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Bleach poster

Amusing manga/anime adaptation. Shinsuke Sato is a veteran director who has no problem handling material like this. The characters, the drama and the action is a bit too hip and middle of the road for my taste, but production values are pretty good and there's no time to get bored. Just a bit of mindless fun.

Another Gantz

2011 / 99m - Japan
Sci-fi, Mystery
Another Gantz poster

A retelling of the first film, but from a slightly different perspective. We follow an investigative reporter who is on the tail of the Gantz heroes. The film rehashes some scenes from the first film but provides enough unique material to warrant its existence. A nice addition to the Gantz universe, but nothing too special.

Kingdom II: Far and Away

Kingdom II: Harukanaru Daichi e
2022 / 134m - Japan
Action, Adventure
Kingdom II: Far and Away poster

A blockbuster that didn't need a sequel, but here we are. Sato returns as director and we're off for another two hours of battlefield-set action cinema. It sounds exciting enough, but there's way too much (generic) character drama for a film like this, no doubt the result of its manga roots.

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Shin helped to restore peace to the land of Qin, but this period of calm is only short-lived. The neighboring nation of Wei is starting to invade Qin, Shin forms a band of five warriors and joins the fight. They travel to the Dakan plains, where the decisive battle will be fought, but defeating the enemy won't be easy.

The action isn't very spectacular (I'm not a big fan of massive battlefield action) and there just isn't enough of it. The characters are pretty generic, yet a lot of time is spent on them and the underlying drama between them. I hope Sato leaves it at this and finds a franchise that better suits his skills. Not the worst, but far below his qualities.

Death Note: Light Up the New World

Desu NĂ´to: Light Up the New World
2016 / 135m - Japan
Fantasy, Horror
Death Note: Light Up the New World poster

Sato's film is the best in the franchise, but for someone who never got the appeal of Death Note the excessive lore is just a bit too much. It's all supposed to be very epic and intricate, but the result is just convoluted and sentimental. This franchise deserved a lighter, more horror-oriented adaptation, but clearly that was never in the cards.

Cosmic Rescue: The Moonlight Generations poster

Early Sato. The ambition is clear, sadly the talent and budget weren't quite there yet. Not that Cosmic Rescue is a complete disaster, but this Cowboy Bebop-inspired tale struggles to bring its sci-fi setting to life. That's not an easy thing to do on a shoestring budget and many have failed before, even so, a slightly more serious approach would've worked better here.

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Cosmic Rescue is an organization that clears up space debris and goes on rescue missions when collisions are imminent. When a team receives a distress call they stand by to engage, but suddenly the ship disappears from their radar. When they arrive back at base, nobody is willing to listen to their story.

The CG is very basic and the space physics aren't taken too seriously (and that's an understatement). The plot is also very predictable, but the pacing is solid and Sato already shows promise when it comes to delivering entertainment value. Based on this film, it's no surprise he would grow to become one of Japan's better blockbuster directors. Cosmic Rescue is a little rough around the edges, but still somewhat amusing.

Library Wars

Toshokan Senso
2013 / 128m - Japan
Library Wars poster

Silly film that never really finds its footing. It's surprising considering Shinsuke Sato's talents, but Library Wars never gets the balance between its more serious premise and the silly, almost childish execution right. Apart from the interesting starting point, there just aren't any redeeming qualities.

The Princess Blade

Shura Yukihime
2001 / 93m - Japan
Sci-fi, Action
The Princess Blade poster